Saturday, 13 November 2010
Dragon City, Manchester
Veggie unfriendly and rude staff!
While I love Try Thai, being the inquisitive foodie explorer I am, I need to explore other eateries in Chinatown and update my database with my findings! After so many bad buffet experiences of cold food, I made sure I went with the business lunch option rather than feed your face. Stumbling through Chinatown, I spotted the sign of a traditional Chinese- a restaurant with ducks hanging up in the window. Yes, I know I'm a veggie, but to me, this is a sign of authenticity. The confusing thing was, I spotted ducks, but the rest of the exterior looked contrastingly plush! Let me introduce you to Dragon City, a restaurant of contrast.
Upon entering DC, I realised that we were the only diners in there- was that a bad sign or were we just early? I sat down to a frosty reception, menus slammed down in front of me. Surly staff aside, the restaurant looked plush and with interesting artwork adorning the walls. In contrast with the very British carpeted floor, the window set the scene of part of the kitchen with a bubbling urn of jasmine tea on the go and a chef hard at work tending to his drying ducks hanging by their necks in the window, beaks intact. That is when the first crack in this polished turd's exterior became apparent- the chef handled raw meat then he wiped his hands on his rotten apron. Hello- environmental health on speed dial please!
The second crack showed when the menus were plonked in front of us. The menus' covers were made of metal; imagine a drunken reveller in the mood for fighting getting their hands on this potential weapon! Speed dial to a health and safety jobsworth please!
These quibbles aside, it was time to get down to business and eat. From the £5.50 business menu, I chose a veggie Hot and Sour soup followed by satay veg with EFR. Still no smiles from the staff. My soup came, and the first mouthful I had contained chicken! I asked for veggie! As readers of the blog will know, I have not touched meat since 1995 but I still recognised the distinctive taste. I immediately sent it back but got no apology whatsoever. However, the final product was absolutely divine, with the right amounts of hot and sour elements. Now for the main course. The EFR was beautifully fluffy, the portion sizes just right. Delicious. The one thing that dampened the otherwise fabulous feast was the endless pacing up and down of the staff like members of the Third Reich on patrol.
Dessert was either Jasmine Tea, Coffee or ice cream. I spotted a naughty jar of instant behind the counter so coffee was a no-go, the ice cream in Chinese restaurants is always Asda Smart Price so Jasmine Tea it was. The tea was freshly made,no bags involved and left a refreshing taste in the mouth, a perfect way to digest a feast!
While supping my tea, I was interrupted by the most almighty racket; the staff having a screaming match at the workman. What a way to conduct yourself in front of diners! Furthermore, isn't it a hygiene risk getting work done in a food prep area? It was to get more Fawlty Towers- esque when one of the ladies started cleaning the lampshades in the eating area. Polishing the polished turd indeed! Dragon City, please ensure your restaurant is clean before you open, not only does it look rude otherwise, but the dust will get into the food and cause your more vulnerable customers to have allergic reactions.
Despite this chaos downstairs, I was pleasantly surprised by the toilets- ultra modern with Molton Brown smellies! However, the loos weren't enough to tempt me back to this Fawlty Towers hellhole. What a shame, as DC's food was actually delicious when they actually get the orders right. With a bit of improvement, DC might actually be a shining star in heavily competitive Chinatown. Unfortunately, right now, it will remain a polished turd.